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Transmission & Drivetrain

Why More Turbo Boost Doesn’t Always Mean More Power

Why More Turbo Boost Doesn't Always Mean More Power - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

Did you know that more turbo boost does not always translate into more power? If you didn’t, we’re going to give you some reasons why that is and what could really impact the horsepower you’re hoping to get.

Car enthusiasts want to upgrade their vehicle to move speedily, however, the popular opinion that a turbocharger can achieve this quest may not hold in certain cases. It does not change the fact that greater turbo boost pressure helps the engine to make more power even though more boost does not always mean more power.

The latter can be tied to the fact that a lot of factors also go into making your ride a speedy one. And that being said, we’ll go ahead and show you when things may change in certain cases.


What Is Turbo Boost?

Turbochargers are air compressors that function the same way as superchargers. These compressors shove more air into the engine than what the piston would’ve been able to ingest on its own, and this air is stacked up in the intake manifold thereby creating pressure.

The pressure is referred to as boost and expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI). A turbocharger may be able to move enough air than the engine can use even at low pressures thereby causing an instant boost that impacts power.

The greater the turbo boost pressure, the greater the engine power. Besides, boosting an engine using a turbocharger does not only help to increase the engine’s horsepower but also its torque.


What Causes a Change in Power?

Imagine if you have two turbocharged cars featuring the same type of engine with the same displacement. These two vehicles are able to achieve a 20 psi of boost, however, one of them provides more power than the other.

This would be quite surprising even though it is entirely possible. But here’s why what’s described above may be the case:

1. The Temperature of Ingoing Air

Based on the scenario described for the vehicles above, they may not provide the same power despite a similar boost in their pressures. A major factor that also contributes to the power output is the temperature of the air entering the engine.

For instance, if one of the cars has a smaller, less efficient turbocharger, it will tend to work harder and spin even faster in a bid to attain the 20 psi of boost. The fact that the turbocharger is spinning fast causes the air to heat up more, and therefore, be less dense.

It can be said that the turbocharger is working against itself since its fast spinning causes the air to heat too much. When the air is less dense, it means that enough oxygen is not entering the engine which could’ve resulted in more fuel being burnt and increased power output. You should also note the following:

a. Compressed Air

Compressing air may also cause the air to heat up. As a result, the oxygen’s density is reduced while the odds of detonation in the cylinder is increased. That being the case, you may not get more horsepower despite the same displacements of both vehicles.

b. Adiabatic Efficiency

Adiabatic efficiency (AE) determines how well a turbocharger compresses air without leading to excessive generation of heat. In this case, the compressor’s AE range is determined by the ratio of pressure it produces to the amount of air it can flow. Also, compressors have a “sweet spot” where they can perform at maximum efficiency.

2. Absence of Intercooler

One may argue that both cars have the same turbocharger which should’ve resulted in the same power output. Nonetheless, another factor that can cause a difference in power output is an intercooler.

If the car lacks an intercooler, it means the turbocharged air is not cooled before it enters the engine. Compared to a vehicle that has this component, the air is hotter and lacks more oxygen. Therefore, a limitation of this nature can also make a difference in the power output.

3. Larger Intake Ports

When it comes to the use of superchargers, more power with less boost can be achieved by using larger intake ports. What this does, is to restrict the airflow which causes more air to enter the cylinders. Accordingly, the restriction to airflow at a high rpm can cause more air to be moved thereby helping the engine to produce more power.

4. Faulty Turbocharger

Turbochargers pressurize air before it enters the engine, which helps to create boost pressure. However, a faulty turbo may cause your engine to slow down and as such, you need to look out for these symptoms to tell if yours need to be checked. Some of these signs include loss of normal boost pressure and power, increased oil consumption, turbo noise, excessive exhaust smoking, etc.


Is Airflow More Important Than Boost?

After going through the reasons outlined above, you’ll agree that it centers more on airflow. Thus, more focus should be given to the airflow and you’ll be able to achieve the power you need. For instance, using high boost pressures only as compensation for poor airflow through the cylinder head may still result in low power output.

On the contrary, your quest for more power will be achieved if the engine is built properly, thereby allowing the boost, good airflow through the cylinder heads, and intake and exhaust manifolds to have a better effect on the power.

It will allow a few pounds less of boost and at the same time, maintain the same horsepower and torque levels. In the end, you get a cooler, more octane-tolerant engine that produces great power.


The Bottom Line

These are some of the reasons why a boost may not result in more power since the entrance of more oxygen into the engine is also a deciding factor. Therefore, if you’re looking to improve your ride’s horsepower with the use of a turbocharger, the efficiency at which air enters the vehicle is important – it can go a long way to make your efforts more rewarding.

On the same note, components like the intercooler can prove useful in this case. With these and many more in place, your desire for more speed can be handled by your ride.


New Vehicle Models Kicking 2020 Into High Gear

New Vehicle Models Kicking 2020 Into High Gear - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

It’s 2020! And if you’re looking for the fastest cars from your favorite manufacturer, we’ve narrowed down to those that are worth the time, attention, and your hard-earned money. These are new and upcoming vehicle models that have been revamped with the latest hardware and software that meet the need for speed.

The designs of these 2020 models are major upgrades from their predecessors, and their road and off-road performance are more than impressive. So, you’ve got the money? Let’s show you a great car that can be yours this year even before the rest of the world starts driving it.


New and Upcoming 2020 Vehicle Models

Here’s a list of our top favorite new and upcoming vehicle models from top manufacturers of cars around the world. They include:


2020 Chevrolet Corvette

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the eighth-generation of Corvette sports car from the American company, General Motors. As an upcoming convertible, the C8 is a mid-engine setup that only adopts a single part from last generation’s Corvette.

What to expect, is an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission that helps to send the power to the wheel as well as a 6.2-liter V8 engine on all models of the C8. The C8 will also provide improved weight distribution and better handling, and its optional magnetorheological dampers ensure that it keeps riding flat through corners.

Accordingly, you should expect a ride that can handle the speed and load it’ll have to endure. Its maker Chevrolet claims that this is not your everyday car –  but a car you’ll want to drive every day. It has been designed in different colors including Torch red, Artic white, Shadow Gray metal, Blade Silver Metallic, among others. So, how much will the 2020 Corvette cost?

The starting price for the 2020 Corvette has been set around $59,995 for the base model, while the other two trims go for $67,295  and $71,945. The C8 vehicle will go on sale from Spring this year, however, you can pre-order this ride.


2020 Jeep Gladiator

Another new ride you’ll come to appreciate like every other car fanatic is the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, boasting of a blend of SUV and pickup attributes. It was one of the anticipated pickup trucks prior to its release, and it is still creating a wave of excitement even after its launch.

This is a ride that has been specially designed for great off-road experience due to its suspension geometry and all-wheel-drive system. It may be just as exciting as the Jeep Wrangler, given that it can be optioned sparsely with roll-up windows and manual lock doors as well as upgraded with more bells and whistles.

Nonetheless, the Gladiator is even better since it packs in a lot more than usual. This one brings something different to the table by its extra 4000lbs of towing capacity and a five-foot pickup bed. You can take it one step further to upgrade the Gladiator with several off-road benefits including skid plates, locking differential, and different axle ratios.

There’s the option to bring whatever you want along with you thanks to the 7,650-pound towing capacity and 1,700-pound payload of this ride. The start price for the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is $43,740m while trims like the Sport, Sport S, and Overland go for $33,545, $36,940, $40,590, and $43,740 respectively.


2020 Ford Escape

Ford Motor Company is offering the 2020 Ford Escape, and it is a vehicle to keep a close eye on if you’re out to get some adventure on the road this year. SUVs are quite popular in the US market and if you love vehicles of this nature, then this one might steal your attention.

The 2020 Ford Escape is slightly larger than previous generations of Ford Escape, however, it is lighter than its predecessor. What’s more, the design of the Ford Escape makes it stand out from cars from previous generations, given its redefined interior and exterior looks.

FordPass Connect with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, WAZE Technology, among others are features that make this ride an admirable one. It’s worth noting that there are different models of this vehicle and these are S, SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Titanium, while there are seven configurations of the vehicle.

What’s evident on the base model is a turbo-3 and an 8-speed automatic, whereas, there are trims that feature a stronger turbo-4 and all-wheel drive. The 2020 Ford Escape has a start price of $24,885 for the S model, while the SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Titanium models go for $27,095, $28,255, $29,255, and $33,400 respectively.


2020 Land Rover Defender

An enhancement to the Defender lead to a 2020 Land Rover Defender, and the effort put into its design is definitely worth it. The design of this vehicle makes it powerful to handle off-roading, despite its simple yet rugged build.

It will even be featured in No Time To Die, the latest James Bond movie, which makes it even more exciting. On the other hand, this is an upcoming vehicle and it will be available as two diesel engines and two gas engines, which, therefore, gives you a choice between which.

Interestingly, there are expectations for a plug-in hybrid variant that could potentially rely completely on electricity to drive. The Defender has an 11.5-inch ground clearance and a wading depth of 35.4 inches, evidence that this variant has been significantly upgraded.

Much more, it features a 10-inch touchscreen, multiple cameras to make it easy to view the exterior while off-roading. There is also a software with over the air updates via 5G and its start price has been set at $65,100.


2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

There’s also the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, a new vehicle and a slightly upgraded variant to the CR-V, which has been one of the best-selling vehicles in the United States. The CR-V Hybrid is one of the most anticipated vehicles in 2020, and it has been built with compact crossover proportions and interior refinement.

It features a revamped exterior look and its interior has been designed to impress given features like the wireless phone charger and leather-trimmed seats it comes with. This eco-friendly vehicle parades with outstanding performance and enhanced styling, and if that sounds, good, here’s a vehicle to take very seriously.

What’s more, its new set of wheels (19-inch alloy wheel), paint colors, and standard Honda Sensing driver safety technology are some things that give it an appeal. Supporting its high level of performance is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that is paired to two electric motors that can generate 212 horsepower, and an advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain for better fuel mileage.


2020 Hyundai Venue

The 2020 Hyundai Venue is a smaller variant to the Hyundai Kona, which makes it an ideal ride if you’re looking for a portable ride. What’s more, it can be moved into tight car spaces and driven speedily around big cities which are some of the perks of driving a small SUV in the first place.

The vehicle has chiseled angles, fresh style, and its small size does not translate in for fragility. In terms of specifications, this vehicle relies on a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that is paired to a continuously variable transmission.

There’s the potential to improve to a six-speed manual gearbox, and that means you can have even more speed. The base model of this ride comes with several safety features including forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert.

In line with that, there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which are all features on all models of these vehicles. There are three venue trims and these are the SE, SEL, and Denim which are offered at a price of $16,750, $18,650, and $21,450 respectively.


2020 Mazda CX-30

The Mazda CX-30 falls between the current CX-3 and CX-5 and has been built to feature the latest technology and safety. Compared to the CX-3, the CX-30 offers:

    • 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space, instead of the 12.4 cubic feet found on the CX-3.
    • 8.8” color touchscreen and Apple CarPlay, as standard which is the case of the CX-5.
    • Is a smaller model than the CX-5.

As part of Mazda’s utility lineup, it will feature three engines at launch and two M hybrid SKY ACTIVE engines and one diesel powertrain, which is a range of choices. There will also be three different trims to choose from and specially tailored to the U.S. market.


The Bottom Line

These are the latest vehicles for 2020 to choose from if you’re all about great speed. Each has been built to handle great on roading or off-roading, as such, you only need to choose a suitable vehicle to match the terrain you’ll use it on.

There’s a convertible, to begin with, a pickup truck, and SUVs, hence, there’s a wide range of options to choose from. The best part is, these vehicles feature the latest technology which makes them a big competitor with their predecessors and vehicles from other manufacturers.

Overview of the NAG1 Transmission

Overview of the NAG1 Transmission - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

Over the course of the years, several transmissions have been launched and one that is worth mentioning is the NAG1 transmission. The NAG1 was quite popular in its time and interestingly, it was used in several Chrysler products.

The high use of this transmission was an attestation of its quality, which made it a force to reckon with. On the other hand, we’ve outlined an overview of the NAG1 transmission and what makes it unique. A closer look is also taken to at cars that used the NAG1 transmission.


What Is the NAG1 Transmission, Exactly?

The acronym NAG1 denotes “New” for N, “Automatic” for A, “Gearbox” for G, and “generation 1” for 1. Also, this 5-speed transmission is used to denote a category of automatic transmissions that have a round 13-way connector.

The connector is stationed near the right side, front corner of the transmission oil pad. The NAG1 can also be called by other names such as the WA580, W5A380, or W5A580. The W5A580 stands for:

    • W = Transmission using a hydraulic torque converter.
    • 5 = 5 forward gears.
    • A = Automatic transmission.
    • 580 = Maximum input torque capacity in Newton meters.

It is worth noting that Chrysler moved to this automatic transmission. The W5A580 / WA580 transmission had several advantages to previous Chrysler automatics, and they were more efficient compared to the four-speed automatics that were evident in the LX-car engines.


Cars That Came With the NAG1 Transmission

The NAG1 automatic transmission was used in several Chrysler products such as the Grand Cherokees, Dodge Caravans, Ram trucks, and Jeep Wranglers. Specifically, some cars that came with the NAG1 transmission are:

    • Jeep Commander (V6 3.7L, from 2006 to 2011).
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee (SRT–8, from 2006 to 2013).
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo (V6 3.7L 3.6L, from 2006 to 2013).
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and Overland (V6 3.6L, from 2012 to 2013).
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee (V6 3.0L Diesel, 2007 to 2011).
    • Jeep Wrangler, (gas engines from 2011 to 2014).
    • Dodge Nitro, (V6 4.0L from 2007 to 2011).
    • Dodge Magnum SRT–8, (some SXT, R/T, 2007 to 2011).
    • Dodge Charger SRT 8, (2006-2013).
    • Dodge Challenger, V8, (2009 to 2013 and V6 in 2011).
    • Chrysler 300 (300C with 5-speed transmissions, 2005 to 2012).
    • Chrysler Crossfire, (from 2004 to 2007).
    • Jaguar XJ and XKR Supercharged, (from 1998 to 2003).
    • Mercedes C55 AMG, CLS55 AMG, E55 AMG, G55 AMG, ML430, S65 AMG and others.
    • Sprinter Vans, 2004 to 2012 (Dodge, Mercedes, Freightliner).


Features of the NAG1

The NAG1 transmission was built with an  electronically controlled 5-speed transmission system with a lock-up clutch in the torque converter. The electronic controls help the NAG1 gears to be activated hydraulically.

Moreover, it provides a precise adaptation of pressures to the respective operating conditions. In this case, the gears can be shifted by combining three multi-disc holding clutches, two freewheeling clutches, as well as three multi-disc driving clutches.

On the other hand, the fifth gear of this transmission is an overdrive with a high-speed ratio. Also, the ratios for the gear stages can be gotten by three planetary gear sets.


Benefits of NAG1 Transmissions

Some benefits offered by the NAG1 transmissions are:

    • Increased gas mileage.
    • Increased service life.
    • Increased shift control.
    • Reduced maintenance costs.
    • Enhances step-ups through the five gears.


NAG1 Transmission Problems

Despite the benefits of the NAG 1 transmissions, some problems were evident in them. For starters, Chrysler discontinued the use of this transmission in its products and the reason was attributed to the transmission’s use of electronic controls.

On the same note, earlier versions of this transmission were said to have a short lifespan. The latter was linked to the transmission’s sensitivity to fluid, slow shifting, and transmission filler tube o-ring leaking.

After upgrades, these problems were eliminated in the transmission. Other problems that may be noticeable on the W5A580/NA include the following:


1. Shudder

A shudder vibration or high-frequency buzzing may be experienced while using the NAG1 transmission. This problem may be evident when the acceleration is applied lightly and there is a partial application of the torque converter clutch in 3rd, 4th, or 5th gears.

The reason this occurs can be attributed to the passage of water past the transmission oil fill tube/dipstick seal. What’s more, contaminated transmission fluid can lead to sticking or slipping. Moreover, this transmission was extremely sensitive to the fluid quality.


2. Slipping, Erratic Shifting, or Reverse Gear Engagement

A notable problem with the W5A580 transmission is its ability to slip between gears. There could be a hard slam or erratic up or downshifts when the transmission engages its Drive or Reverse.


3. Overheating

Another cause of concern for the W5A580 transmission is overheating. If the ATF is unable to remove the heat that is created inside the transmission as its parts move and create friction, it could lead to overheating.


Operation of the NAG1 Transmission

The NAG1 transmission control was sectioned into electronic and hydraulic control functions. For starters, the electronic transmission control helps in gear selection and matching the pressures to the torque that is meant to be transmitted.

On the other hand, the hydraulic elements in the electro-hydraulic control module take care of the transmission’s power supply. Moreover, the oil supply to the hydraulic elements is transmitted through the connection of the oil pump with the torque converter.

There is also the Transmission Control Module (TCM) that helps in the precise adaptation of pressures to the matching operating conditions. It also helps in the engine output during the gearshift phase which could result in the improvement of shift quality.

Also, the engine speed limit can be attained in each of the gears at full throttle and kick-down. There’s also the potential for a change in the forward gears as the user drives, however, the TCM uses a downshift safeguard which helps to prevent over-revving the engine.

The benefit of this is that the system brings about the advantage of flexible adaptation to different engine and vehicle variants.


The Bottom Line

An overview of the NAG1 transmission shows that it was built to have high quality and stand the test of time. And most importantly, this transmission was used in a good number of cars which is evidence of its functionality.

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that it came with its own problems, and as such, it could be compared with other transmissions that had the same issues. Over and above that, the NAG1 transmission is worth the attention given the revamped specs it featured.


‘Tis the Season for Performance Transmission Upgrades

'Tis the Season for Performance Transmission Upgrades - Gearstar

It’s that time of the year when you get on the road with your friends and family. But don’t let a laggy ride drag you back, try some performance transmission upgrades that can turn your current car into your dream ride.

There is so much more a high-performance transmission coupled with a torque converter or drivetrain components can do for your vehicle, and for starters, it can improve its horsepower. All you need is DIU upgrades, and where you get stuck, you can employ the services of a professional to give your ride a boost even in the winter cold.

It’s the moment of celebration and as such, even the car you spend a few minutes in should bring you joy. If you agree, then these are the performance transmission upgrades you should try to enjoy the jingle bells season.


Why You Should Optimize Your Transmission for Increased Performance

Here are some reasons why your ride needs a performance transmission upgrade.


1. Engine Produces Torque that Can be Handled

Performance transmission upgrades are important for your car since it ensures that your engine does not produce more torque than what can be handled by the transmission. If that happens, a lot can go wrong which is usually evident in worn synchros, broken shafts, and bent forks.


2. More Power Can be Handled

It is also essential to upgrade your transmission so that it can handle more power, and the same applies to the transmission’s gear ratios to have increased performance. For instance, if you have a GM 4L60/E series transmission which was notably used in performance vehicles, it may not deliver to its best capability due to old-school mods.

Old-school mods are unable to improve the durability of your ride when it comes to extreme racing applications. Modern parts, on the other hand, are able to handle modern horsepower.


3. Improved Acceleration

A performance upgrade to the transmission can enable the engine to spend more time in the power band’s sweet spot. It is, however, worth noting that this might not impact the peak horsepower that is getting to the ground.

Nonetheless, the average horsepower that is put to the ground is increased thereby giving an improved acceleration that makes for a quicker 0-60, quarter mile or lap times.


Performance Transmission Upgrades

Your car’s power and ability to regulate heat all lie in its transmission and as such, this is such a powerful component. You would often need to do the following to get a good performance transmission upgrade:

  • Rebuild manual
  • Rebuild kit
  • Shift kit
  • Accumulator pistons
  • Separator plate
  • Torque converter


1. Rebuild

A great place to start is to replace or rebuild your transmission in a bid to improve its performance. It’ll be one that can handle payload more efficiently, and as such, what you’ll get is a faster and more powerful transmission. When it comes to rebuilding your transmission, you can rely on a car repair shop to do it for you.

In this case, your duty is to ensure that the shop uses the highest-quality OEM transmission parts and has skilled technicians to rebuild your current transmission. The result will be quite rewarding if either of these is in place since it’ll take a good technician to make the most of the quality parts you will be offered.

On the other hand, there are rebuild manuals for automatic transmissions, hence, if you want to do the upgrade yourself, you can be armed with one of these. A good resource manual centers on various aspects of how to work with the transmission in your car including the assembly, dis-assembly, diagnosis, troubleshooting, etc.


2. Rebuild Kits

There are also rebuild kits you can work with and if you choose to do it yourself, this type would prove useful. Let’s say you’re working with a 4L60E transmission, then you can settle for a standard better-than-stock kit with a molded piston kit or a high-performance rebuild kit.

Depending on which you settle for, it will determine the things you can do to your transmission and how well you can optimize your ride. The high-performance kit sometimes features the following: Raybestos Stage 1 clutches, a Kevlar band, a new filter, Kolene steel plates with 8 clutches 3-4 pack and a full bushing kit.


3. Shift Kits

Shift kits are also required in performance transmission upgrades. The 4L60E takes advantage of one of two kits most times, it is better to use one of two shift kits.

Some of these are the TRG-SK4L60E, and the TRG-4L60E-HD2. TRG-SK4L60E helps to prevent, correct, and reduce problems that may be associated with shift performance.

On the same note, it fixes harmonic bounce that may wear out the pump and valves and thereby, cause shuttle shifts.


4. Schedule a Transmission Upgrade

Now’s the time to take action, and schedule a transmission upgrade with a reliable company. In this case, you’ll be getting a high-performance transmission upgrade, and therefore good quality that can give a significant boost in your ride’s speed.

Moreover, such a company is one that has a high level of experience when it comes to high-performance transmission upgrades for vehicles. The same applies to whether it is an automatic or manual you are driving since the transmission in either of these can be upgraded.


5. Accumulator Pistons

There are also accumulator pistons that need to be replaced, and they are usually recommended in the case of a 4L60E rebuild. If they aren’t replaced, these may tend to ruin your transmission. In the 4L60E, a great place to start would be to replace the forward accumulator piston a well as the 1-2 accumulator piston.


The Bottom Line

Now it’s your turn to implement these performance upgrades on your car to improve its horsepower this season. The goal is to have a ride that can handle the impact of the winter given that this season is usually accompanied by snow and ice on roads.

And if you still want to transport easily, these tips can show you where to begin and the transmission in your car that is in dire need of upgrades. Therefore, don’t assume you’ve got the perfect ride, but go out there and do it.


Using This Vehicle Winter-Ready List, and Checking It Twice

Using This Vehicle Winter-Ready List, and Checking It Twice - Gearstar Performance

Winter’s here, and that means your ride needs to revamped to handle the ice, snow, and sleet on roads. A vehicle winter-ready list, for instance, will ensure that your car can withstand the harsh weather, thereby enabling you to drive smoothly and seamlessly as if it were summer.

Thus, winter won’t be something to detest since it does not mean you’ll be stuck indoors for hours unending without taking a therapeutic ride. So, how do you begin? Use the vehicle winter-ready and car maintenance checklist outlined below, and try these tips to ensure that your ride is ready for the weather.


Vehicle Winter-Ready and Car Maintenance Checklist

To protect your car, use this vehicle winter-ready list to help ensure a smooth along rough surfaces. Do the following below.


1. Check Your Windshield Wipers and Lights

The ability to see clearly as you drive through the snow is important, which is why you should check your windshield wipers if they are working properly. It’s even better if you replace the windshield wipers with winter blades that can help to wipe off the snow and ice that will be on the windshield.

Much more, a windshield washer tank with deicing fluid will remove the ice build-up and save you the extra time of waiting for it to defreeze. On the other hand, you also need to inspect your headlights and tail lights if they are working properly since it will provide good illumination when you’re out late.

You need to see the snow or ice clearly to maneuver through it, and if the lights are yellow or dim, clean the lenses or replace the bulbs entirely.


2. Protect Your Car’s Exterior

Did you know that you can winterize your vehicle’s exterior? It involves washing and waxing the car’s exterior to prepare it for winter. But here’s what it looks like:

It’s no surprise if you still have last season’s buildup on your car. That may be the case, but taking the step to scrub this build-up away can be useful.

Once that is in place, you can proceed to apply quality wax on the car to give it maximum protection against the impact of snow and road salt.


3. Maintain Your Car’s Battery

If you’re using the same battery from summer, the season’s heat could have affected the quality of the battery thereby causing it to be weak. This weakness is evident in the car’s inability to start on a very cold morning since the battery it totally drained.

On the other hand, you can ascertain the current state of your battery by performing a battery and charging system test. It will enable you to know if you need to purchase and replace the existing battery with a new one as a defense against the cold weather.

Nonetheless, a new battery may not guarantee that your car is safe proof for winter if you live in extremely cold areas. As such, the battery may have to be paired with a maintainer or trickle charger. Another thing you can try is to disconnect the battery from the car in a bid to prevent unnecessary power drainage.


4. Change Your Car’s Oil

Cars can either use synthetic or conventional oil, and synthetic oil has shown to offer several benefits over the latter especially in cold temperatures. For instance, synthetic oil warms up faster in comparison to conventional oil, and it also tends to flow freer at low temperatures.

As a result, the engine’s moving parts are protected immediately once the car is started. Cold weather starts are also easier when the car is running on synthetic oil.

That being the case, a winter vehicle maintenance you should also try is to change your car’s oil. In this case, use a full-synthetic oil that is appropriate for your car instead of relying on conventional oil it may currently have.


5. Examine Your Tires

A new set of snow tires for the winter is one more thing you should consider. But first, inspect your tires and if the treads don’t have enough depth, then you need a new pair.

The aim is to get as much traction as possible to enable the tires to handle the treacherous roadway conditions. Over and above that, it is expected that every 10-degree drop in air pressure could cause a decrease in tire pressure by one pound.

Hence, you also need to check the inflation of your tires, since an under-inflated tire can reduce handling and traction. It could also affect your vehicle’s fuel economy, asides from the obvious fact that the tires will tend to wear down faster.


6. Inspect Your Fuel Injectors

Clean fuel injectors can also make your ride powerful this winter. It all boils down to the fact that cold temperatures can cause performance issues to a vehicle’s fuel system. Some of these problems may be evident in hard starts and rough idling. The same can be said about the presence of water in the fuel system since it can spring up several issues.

This, therefore, brings about the need to maintain clean injectors, by employing a fuel injector cleaner. A cleaner of this nature will help with the restoration of lost power and prevent several performance issues from arising. All you have to do is add the fuel injector cleaner to the gas tank as you fill-up.


7. Check Your Antifreeze

An engine’s cooling system has a liquid that is made up of a blend of water and antifreeze. Antifreeze is an important winter chemical and it could contain ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. These chemical compounds in the antifreeze help to prevent freezing and expansion of water.

That being the case, you need to measure your car’s antifreeze strength using an antifreeze tester or let a mechanic do it on your behalf. The aim of the test is to determine the lowest ambient temperature of protection that is offered to the engine from freezing.


8. Inspect Your Car’s Thermostat and Radiator Cap

The thermostat and radiator cap are useful in the car’s heating and cooling system. The thermostat helps to provide the heat needed to the car, and if it fails, it can be attributed to the fact that the corrosion has occurred or the coolant has not been changed frequently.

On the other hand, the radiator helps to keep the antifreeze in your vehicle in place. It also ensures that the entire cooling system is pressurized, thereby increasing the boiling point of the coolant.

What’s more, it is important to check the radiator cap for any leakage signs or replace the cap with a new one if its been years already since you’ve used it. The reason is, a leaking radiator cap can lead to an overheating of the engine and leakage of antifreeze.


The Bottom Line

The vehicle winter-ready list is for car enthusiasts who want to maintain the full functionality of their ride and ensure that the cold does not impact on it. If that’s what you want, then employ these tips for a good winter-weather driving as if it were summer.

The requirements on this list are quite easy to implement, and you can also employ the services of a professional to ensure you get them all right. Now, you can drive seamlessly without the fear that your vehicle could potentially break down this winter.

Overview of the 2004R Transmission

verview of the 2004R Trasmission - Gearstar Performance

It is quite common to find 2004R transmissions in salvage yards and its replacement parts in several auto part stores. The popularity of this transmission has been evident despite it being the lesser-known of two GM overdrive transmissions from the 1980’s – it has also been almost over three decades since it was launched.

What’s more, if you were going to upgrade your classic muscle car’s Powerglide two-speed or TH-350 three-speed transmission, then the better option will be the 2004R since it is a perfect fit for the build. On the same note, the 2004R would be the ideal transmission to use if you were trying to upgrade to your old muscle car in a bid to get more punch and improved fuel economy.

Now, here’s an overview of the 2004R transmission that will give you more understanding of what this transmission offers.


2004R Transmission Spotlight

The 2004R is a four-speed automatic transmission that was launched by General Motors for the 1981 model year. This transmission can be used in several GM passenger cars since it was designed with a Chevrolet and a B-O-P bell housing bolt pattern. It was also produced with the Oldsmobile, Buick, and Pontiac patterns.

This transmission’s driveshaft, bell housing, and mechanical speedometer enabled it to be a perfect fit for vintage cars. What’s more, the 2004R’s sturdy build and torque capacity make it a better non-electronic overdrive transmission for GM classic cars.


History of the 2004R

The 2004R was designed to be a continuation of the Turbo Hydramatic line of GM transmissions. This automatic overdrive transmission could be found in high-power GM trucks and cars such as Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am and Buick Grand National.

On the other hand, the production of the 2004R  was discontinued in 1990, and the transmission was replaced with the 700R4, and iterations of the latter including the 4L60 and 4L60-E.


2004R Transmission Powered Vehicles

The 2004R was used in several GM B-body vehicles – it was also employed in C-body vehicles, G-body vehicles, and D-body cars. Nonetheless, the cars that came with a 2004R transmission include:

    • 1981-84 Buick Electra
    • 1981-90 Buick Estate Wagon
    • 1983-87 Buick Regal
    • 1981-89 Cadillac Fleetwood
    • 1981-89 Chevrolet Caprice
    • 1984-87 Chevrolet Malibu
    • 1984-88 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    • 1985-87 GMC Caballero
    • 1982-83 Jaguar ZR W L6 220 3.6L S S
    • 1986-90 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser
    • 1983-89 Pontiac Parisienne


2004R Transmission Specs

    • Manufacturer: General Motors
    • Production Year: 1981 through 1990
    • Type: 3 Speed Automatic
    • Overdrive: Yes
    • Torque Converter Lock: Yes
    • Fluid Capacity: 11 Quarts
    • Speedometer Type: Mechanical
    • Pan Bolts: 13mm heads
    • First Gear Ratio: 2.74:1
    • Second Gear Ratio: 1.57:1
    • Third Gear Ratio: 1
    • Fourth Gear Ratio: .67:1
    • Reverse Gear Ratio: 2.07:1
    • Input Shaft: 27 spline
    • Output Shaft: 27 spline
    • Case Length: 27 11/16”
    • Outer Case Material: Aluminum, fused with bell housing
    • Weight: 118 pounds without the torque converter or ATF
    • Computer Controlled: No. Instead, it is controlled by TV Cable and a lock-up torque converter


2004R Identification

It’s quite easy to differentiate the 2004R transmission from the 700R4, TH350, and other transmissions that were made by General Motors. For starters, the transmission identification can be located on the plate on the right side of the case that is towards the tail shaft.

The plate has a two- or three-letter transmission code which is written in large letters. Another way you can go about it is to count the number of pan bolts of the transmission, and if it is 16, then it’s either the 2004R or 700R4.

But fret not, since there’s no confusion! The 2004R has pan bolts whose size tends to be smaller towards the end. In contrast, the 700R4 maintains almost a perfect square.

On the other hand, the 2004R may easily be confused with the TH350 since they feature the same dimension. Nonetheless, the TH350 has 13 bolts on its square transmission pan, which is considerably lower than the 16 bolts on the 2004R.


2004R vs. 700R4 vs. TH350

The 2004R transmission can be compared side by side with other two overdrive transmissions which were also made in the 1980’s – and these are the 700R4 and TH350. For starters, it is similar to the 700R4 even though it is the weaker variant of the 2004R/700R4 duo.

Needless to say, a 2004R transmission that was made towards the end of the production year is still better than an early 700R4. It is also worth pointing out that the 2004R was not necessarily meant to compliment the 700R4 since they achieved the same functionality.

This transmission was, however, fits into the engine bays of existing models where the 700R4 could not. On the other hand, the 700R4 has the same dimension and bell housing bolt pattern as the TH350, which made it interchangeable in vehicles that were designed for the TH350.

What this means is that classic cars that were originally built to use the TH350 three-speed transmission can easily swap to the 2004R without any major modifications being made. For instance, there’s no need to shorten the original driveshaft.


2004R Transmission Problems

One of the 2004R transmission problems is the transmission not going into gear. Here, the 2004R transmission may fail to go into gear even after the linkage has been hooked up properly.

It may not respond when you also try a test of shifting it through all the gears (R/D/3/2/1). Nonetheless, you can proceed to check the fluid level using the dipstick to ensure that there is enough fluid in the torque converter.

You also need to ensure that the shifter mechanism is working properly and the pump is moving fluid. Slipping could also occur when using the 2004R transmission and it could be a signal that your ride needs maintenance.

Slipping is usually evident in slow or delayed acceleration, hard shifting, or strange smells. Nonetheless, you need to check that the fluid level is not low and that the valve moves and returns freely.


The Bottom Line

An overview of the 2004R transmission shows that this transmission may have been replaced with newer transmissions, but it was still useful when installation space was a factor. It was a perfect fit in cars that used the TH350 transmission, and there was no need to carry out major modifications.

Also, several cars ranging from Buick, Cadillac, and Chevrolet used this transmission. What’s even more remarkable is the sturdy build of this transmission that makes it a good choice if you want to upgrade your old muscle car.


How High-Performance Transmissions Went From Zero to Hero

As technology advances, most products we are using on a regular basis are becoming more efficient. This enables them to offer us a higher level of performance. Transmissions are no exception to the rule. It is beneficial to understand what transmissions are, what their history is, and what you need to know when purchasing one of your own.


Transmission Talk

“Transmission” is a term that is used to describe the mechanism that channels all of the horsepower that is generated inside of your motor vehicle.

Imagine the way in which the power from your engine gets to your wheels. The motor is capable of making that power, but without the transmission, it would be useless. Add a transmission into the equation and then there is a fully-functional motor vehicle.

Your transmission can also enable you to quickly adjust gears via the clutch. The clutch plays a really important role because it is responsible for separating the engine from the transmission and then re-connecting them both when it is necessary. This is what allows the transmission to change gear ratios so that you do not have to shift gears manually.


A Brief History of Transmissions

You can trace the origins of what we would consider to be modern transmissions all the way back to the year 1904, when the Sturtevant brothers developed what was known as the ‘horseless carriage’ gearbox in Boston, Massachusetts. The unit that they created featured two forward speeds that could be changed by flyweights that were driven by the engine.

Naturally, a higher speed would make the high gear engage, while a lower speed would do the opposite. Unfortunately, the metallurgy in the early 1900s was not as good as it is today. This led to a number of these gearboxes failing without warning. Luckily, improvements have come a long way.

The early part of the 20th century would lead to a number of important developments in the field of mechanics. In 1906, Henry Ford would release a special two speed plus reverse transmission that could be manually controlled using pedals.


The Turning Point

But, it was not until 1932 that we would see the first transmissions using hydraulic fluid.  The inventors of the first transmission using hydraulic fluid is by two engineers, Araripe and Lemos, who then sold their creation to General Motors. However, in the Wall Street Journal, an article appeared crediting ZF Friedrichshafen for the invention.

By the 1960s, three-speed units that featured torque converters had become incredibly popular. At this point, whale oil is being taken out of transmission fluid, something that shows real ingenuity. Fast forward to the 1980s and the three-speed units were already evolving to overdrive-equipped transmissions. These new developments involved four or more different transmission speeds and a lock-up torque converter that would improve fuel economy.

As amazing as all of these improvements and inventions might sound, the really interesting things have occurred over the course of the past two decades. We have seen everything from the first six-speed transmission to the first nine-speed automatic transmission in this small window of time. We can only imagine that things will keep improving as more time passes.


What Should You Look for When Purchasing a Transmission?

Consider what you want before you begin considering purchasing a new transmission. You can put as much money as you want into your motor vehicle, but all of that money won’t mean a thing if your transmission decides that it is going to fail.

Because mainstream transmissions are so standard, majority of car garages will have them in stock. But, there is an alternative solution.

Question whether or not to invest in custom high-performance transmissions. High-performance transmissions are both designed and built to meet the exact specifications of your own car, ensuring that everything fits together and works in perfect harmony.


Are Transmissions Really THAT Important?

Without a transmission, you would not have the power that the engine generates from your car to the wheels. It would be impossible. Replacing a transmission can cost a lot of money. Because it’s costly to replace a transmission, it’s a good idea to provide it with regular maintenance.

If you want to customize your ride, consider looking into high-performance transmissions. Remember that the quality of transmissions is always improving. With these improvements, it is worth considering whether or not an upgrade would be worthwhile.

Transmission Tech Tips for Hard-Cornering, Fast Drivers

Performance Transmission Tech Tips for Hard-Cornering, Fast Drivers - Gearstar Performance

You have a high-performance vehicle alright, and you love to drive it fast and pull hard into corners. While that may give you the needed thrill and excitement, it could be causing a great deal of strain to your car’s OEM driveline and suspension fasteners.

The reason cannot be far-fetched since manufacturers have built these cars to handle regular driving. It’s evident in the quality of parts and the level of performance they can offer.

That is why putting more speed/force on the same load can take a toll on some components. Generally, high-stress environments can affect the reliability of the parts of your vehicle.

But hey, that can be kept at bay by having some important transmission tech tips that will ensure that while you get a great driving experience, that is not at the expense of your car’s functionality.

Tips to Maintain Quality Performance in Impact Driving

Here are some transmission tech tips that will enable you to maintain the quality of your ride. These are processes employed by Automotive Racing Products, Inc. (ARP), a manufacturer of car parts for racers and car builders.

ARP has designed and engineered several fasteners that can offer safety margins for a variety of applications. That being the case, you can find a repair shop that can also implement these changes on your vehicle.

1. Quality Wheel Studs

If you’re only going to pull your car on and off the road without trying out stunts, then the 8.8 or 10.9 rated metric studs it comes with is just right for it. The same can be said for the SAE equivalent Grade 5 (120,000 psi tensile strength) or Grade 8 (150,000 psi) the car comes with, which is suitable for normal driving.

On the contrary, if you’re going to be pulling 9 to 1.0+ G’s while driving a 3,500 – 4,000 lb. car, greater consideration has to be given since there are a lot of lateral forces that will be at play. What’s more, dumping the clutch at high RPM could multiply torque through the transmission and rear end, thereby leading to a strain on the studs.

These forces may take a toll on the ride, but the use of premium wheel studs can handle sideloads and ensure a breakdown does not happen. How’s that? You may wonder.

a. Using Quality Materials for Wheel Studs

Wheel studs that are made of quality materials are free of any laps, seams, or material impurities. This level of quality can be ensured by designing these materials from premium SDF/CHQ grades (which can be compared to aircraft quality) 8740 chrome-moly steel. The SDF in, this case, denotes that it is Seam and Defect Free.

b. Cold Forging of Wheel Studs

Asides from using quality materials to create wheel studs, the studs are cold-forged into an oversize blank. Which is then transferred to a heat treatment process- in a bid to attain a nominal rating of 190,000 psi.

The Wheel studs are then shot-peened, and CNC machined to a specific diameter and shape. Also, the threads are all rolled upon completion heat treating. It is worth noting that the threads are formed when the material is hard, instead of being cut or rolled before heat treating.

This way, the threads are of high quality.  They have a fatigue strength that is ten times higher than other threads that are designed using common commercial methods.

As a result, the resultant product has precision and tolerance. The wheel studs can now handle the tremendous shock loads that may be evident when the clutch is dumped at a high RPM.

2. Quality Bolts

Designing clutch/flywheel and converter/flexplate bolts to be of high quality instead of relying on commercial specifications that only harden the case can be highly beneficial.

Also, certain considerations have to be made. Such as the design of the ARP flywheel and flexplate bolt to feature a 12-point head design; a large shank diameter to provide increased strength and improved flywheel register.

The use of a design of this nature can save you a lot of trouble. Especially if you tend to dump the clutch a clutch at a high RPM. A clutch dumped at high RPMs poses several concerns, including the easy failure of the converter/flexplate fasteners or conventional clutch/flywheel within the bell housing.

What causes this failure can be associated with the load mounted on the bolts as the clutch engages at high RPMs. Much more, a stiffer clutch will be more impactful upon release. A possible solution to this problem is to use the high-quality bolts, that are not only hardened at the case.

3. Ring gear Bolts

Ring gear bolts can also be damaged since excessive shear loads can be more at the rear end. Nonetheless, the gear bolts that can handle the power will be susceptible to help to curb any potential issues.

Specifically, the use of premium grade 190,000 psi tensile strength bolts will prove useful. It is advisable to get bolts in bulk due to the range of application and custom nature of some installations.

Some options in the market are 10-32 x ½” bolts to as large as ½” by 6-inch bolts. The bolts can also be polished stainless steel, thereby making them less susceptible to rust and corrosion.

Transmission Tech Tips Conclusion

These are the transmission tech tips you should employ in ensuring that the components of your high-performance car stand the test of time. It also means that you do not have to sacrifice hard racing, pushing the RPMs, or hard turning in corners.

A car whose wheel studs and bolts are of high quality can  impact the level of performance that can be provided. That being the case, your ride will stand the test of time and serve you well in the long run.

Find a company that can put these transmission tech tips in place, all in a bid to revamp your ride. If you’re confident that it has been built to handle the power, then you can be more confident to give it hard turns.

10 Performance Upgrades Your Car Will Absolutely Thank You For

10 Performance Upgrades Your Car Will Absolutely Thank You For - Gearstar

What else can you be thankful for? The best performance upgrades that can transform your car into a fast and furious ride just by increasing its horsepower. There’s also the benefit of more torque for quicker passing, improved acceleration, and increased towing capacity.

Thus, your vehicle can be the ride to be on the lookout for, and probably one to emulate among hundreds out there. Now while this idea may sound good to you, the problem of where to begin may set in.

Nonetheless, we have outlined some of the best performance upgrades that will use your car’s functions optimally and, therefore, enable it to reach its full potential. The best part? These performance upgrades don’t require mechanic services; so long as you have a basic knowledge of car parts, you’re all set!


Simple Performance Upgrades for Cars

Below are some super simple performance upgrades that can boost and revamp your ride.

1. New Tires

New tires and good ones to begin with, can give your car more power, and as such, it is where you should begin if you want to improve your car’s performance significantly. Great tires will give your ride a greater grip on the road, and help to move swiftly along it. Hence, you can look forward to a pleasurable and smoother driving experience.

2. Engine Control Unit (ECU) Flash

A car’s ECU controls the air and fuel mixture (air-fuel ratio) in your engine, which helps to maximize the engine’s power and efficiency. However, manufacturer’s usually program this ECU to perform below the engine’s true capability as a precaution.

That being the case, you can improve the programming of the ECU that will help to unleash its full potential. The engine’s performance will be enhanced as well as the return on gas mileage.

3. Cold-Air Intake

The installation of a cold-air intake system helps to circulate the airflow in your car’s engine and also provides cooler and denser outside air into the engine. For this reason, cold-air intake can help to boost your car’s performance significantly. Its impact is evident in its ability to allow your car to breathe better and as such, drive better.

4. Spark Plugs

Spark plugs with great quality can aid in better combustion, and as such, it would mean more power and fuel economy in your ride. Pairing the two side by side can be extremely rewarding since you don’t get a ride with a high level of performance at the expense of low fuel consumption. But what about the old spark plugs you have? You may wonder.

While these may have also been great quality spark plugs, they could’ve become worn out due to wear and tear. As such, it could impact on the results delivered significantly. That being the case, you can try an affordable swap to new spark plugs on your new or old ride.

5. Bolt-In a High Flow Exhaust

A bolt-in a high flow exhaust will enable your car’s waste to be exited conveniently. And that can be compared to the removal of wastes from the human body! But in this case, your car needs to do the same.

When a bolt in a high flow exhaust is used, it reduces the pressure that is built up within the ride, and therefore, helps the driver to move more efficiently. A bolt also increases the removal process of waste.

6. Bushing Replacement

Bushings are rubber suspension components, and they are employed in providing cushioning, isolating vibration, and reducing friction between metal parts in the car. Manufacturers add rubber bushings which could get damaged easily and thereby cost you better performance of your car.

On the contrary, a replacement of these bushings can ensure that they stand the test of time to provide the level of support they should for a long time. You can, therefore, try polyurethane bushings that have been proven to last longer than rubber bushings. They also take it one step further in minimizing weight transfer and ending vibrations.

7. Forced Induction

A turbocharger or supercharger can help to increase your engine’s power output, and all it’ll take is to increase its horsepower. A turbocharger helps to force air at high speed into the engine. It needs the exhaust gases to build up as the RPMs increase.

In this case, you need to increase the efficiency of the existing turbo to have more engine power without affecting the OEM reliability. A supercharger comes with a belt-driven compressor, and they provide a power hit low in the RPM range.

8. Nitrous

Nitrous provides a temporary-boosting, cooling effect that enters the combustion chamber, which makes the air entering the chamber denser as well. As a result, there can be a more powerful burn that will help to push your ride forward. However, if you need 50 horsepower right away and not a couple of minutes of hours later, you can try a nitrous kit.

9. Camshafts

A performance camshaft, also known as a bump stick, can also be useful in increasing your car’s performance. The camshaft bears a resemblance to a metal stick with bumps at its circumference.

Here, the bumps are cam lobes that decide when air enters in and out of the combustion chamber since they open and close the intake and exhaust valves. Therefore, a change of the cam can improve horsepower significantly. The horsepower can be increased between 30 to 100.

10. Fine-Tune and Reprogram Computer-Controlled Systems

A hand-held reprogrammer in a computer-controlled engine can help to improve fuel delivery, advance timing, and the change shift points on automatic transmissions. Nonetheless, you will need to have a good idea of what you’re up to by following instructions strictly.


The Bottom Line

These are some of the best performance upgrades for car, which you’ll be thankful for after implementing them. They are quite easy to work with, and some require inexpensive components that can still turn your car into the ride it needs to.

Your ride can be fast, offer great fuel mileage, and have reliable components that won’t break down. Hence, you can resort to these upgrades when trying to improve the performance of your car.

Overview of the 700R4 Transmission

Overview of the 700R4 Transmission - Gearstar Performance

The 700R4 transmission is an automatic transmission that was found in GMC and Chevrolet cars and trucks. It was developed with the aim of improving fuel economy in cars, and it achieved this goal thanks to the overdrive it featured.

Over the years, the transmission has had a change of name, and there have been significant upgrades to its build. We’ve outlined an overview of the 700R4 transmission, its upgrades, problems, and what made it one of the best transmissions in its time.


GM’s 700R4 Transmission

The 700R4, also known as Turbo Hydra-Matic, is a 4-speed automatic transmission that was launched by General Motors in the early 1980s. It is an upgrade to the 3-speed TH350 automatic transmission and older models of rear-wheel-drive cars.

Also, the 700R4 transmission featured a 30% overdrive in 4th gear which brought about fuel economy. This overdrive allowed sports cars and pickup trucks that came with it to be more affordable to drive.


Vehicles Equipped the 700R4

The 700R4 transmission was used in cars between 1982 and 1993. Specifically, it could be found in trucks and rear-wheel-drive cars including:


    • Blazer: 1982-1991
    • Caprice: 1982-1992
    • Corvette: 1982-1992
    • Camaro: 1983-1992
    • Suburban: 1984-1992
    • Astro Van: 1985-1992
    • S10 Blazer: 1989-1992
    • S10 Pickup: 1989-1991


    • Fleetwood: 1990-1992
    • Brougham: 1990-1992
    • Limousine: 1990-1992


    • Jimmy: 1982-1993
    • Safari Van: 1983-1990
    • Syclone: 1991-1992
    • S10 / S15 Sonoma: 1983-1991
    • S15 Pickup: 1983-1991


    • Pontiac Firebird: 1983-1992
    • Buick Lesabre: 1984
    • Holden Commodore: 1988-1992

That being the case, the widespread use of the 700R4 (4L60) was 1992. Also, the 1993 Corvette, Camaro, and Typhoon were the vehicles to feature the last production of the 700R4.


Build of the 700R4

The 700R4 transmission is made from cast aluminium, which adds to its sturdiness and ruggedness. It’s 23.4 inches long, weighs 155 pounds, and has 16 bolts. The tail shaft housing is connected to the main case by four bolts, and the bolt spacing is comparable to that of the THM350 transmission. Dimensions of the 700R4 are:

    • 625 in. tail shaft housing.
    • Transmission’s width where it bolts to the engine is 20 in (51 cm).
    • 5 in. from the engine/trans mating surface to the cross member mount bolt.
    • 375 in. from the engine/trans surface to the output shaft housing mating surface.
    • External dimensions are the same as that of a THM350 with a 9-inch tail housing as found in the GMC long wheelbase truck/vans.

This transmission can store about 11 quarts of transmission fluid and its recommended fluid is DEXRON VI. That aside, there was a K-case 700R4 transmission, and this was the 700R4 with the label K on its case. The transmission case was stronger and thicker since it was designed for heavier 4×4 trucks used for off-roading.


700R4 Performance Specs

The 700R4 transmission first gear, second gear, third gear, fourth gear, and reverse gear are 3.06, 1.63, 1, 0.7, and 2.9 respectively.

Its lower first gear ratio provides excellent performance for low vehicle speeds. Besides, a 30% overdrive brings about enhanced fuel economy, a reason that can also be attributed to the popularity of the 700R4.

The torque that can be handled by a 700R4 transmission varies depending on its production year. Nonetheless, you can expect a max engine torque around 350 lb-ft and a max gearbox torque of 650 lb-ft.


700R4 Transmission Problems

Like other automatic transmissions, the 700R4 transmission problems are also evident in certain cases. Some of these issues include:

1. Overheating

A notable issue of the 700R4 transmission is overheating. Usually, the vehicles that use this transmission produce high power output and are put to extreme use, which could lead to overheating. The overheating of the ATF could cause damage to the internal components of the car. On the other hand, this problem can easily be avoided by installing an auxiliary transmission cooler.

2. Broken Input Shaft

The 700R4 upon its launch featured a 27 spline input shaft (also found on the THM200C and 2004R transmissions). This input shaft was unable to handle much torque; hence, it was not a surprise when it broke down. Nonetheless, 30 spline shafts were used in Chevrolet small-block V8s 1984, and this helped to give this sturdy gearbox more reliability.

3. Stuck Governor

Dirty transmission fluid in the 700R4 governor can cause the springs located in the governor to be inoperable. If this happens, the vehicle could experience delayed shifts. However, regular servicing of the 700R4 can keep this problem at bay.


700R4 vs. 4L60

GM renamed the 700R4 to 4L60 (4-speed Longitudinal 6,000 lb GVWR) in 1990, even though it was the same transmission without any significant changes. However, there was an enhancement to the 4L60 in 1993 where it was electronically controlled instead of hydraulically with a TV cable.

Here, electronic controls replaced its hydraulic shifting system, and the transmission was called the 4L60E. It is also worth noting that the 4L60E cannot be easily swapped for the 4L60 since the 4L60E shifts using a powertrain control module (PCM).


700R4 Transmission Updates

Specific updates were made to the 700R4 transmission after its launch. Some of these were:

1. Spline Shaft

Instead of 27 spline input shaft, the 700R4 latter featured 30 spline input shaft as found in the TH400 transmissions. This upgrade was made in 1984, and it combated the common failure point of the transmission.

2. Internal Components

Also, internal components such as the oil pump housing and ring gear were updated in the 700R4 between 1984-1987, and this ended with an auxiliary valve body for 700s in 1986.

3. Electronic Controls

The 700R4, after being renamed to the 4L60, featured electronic controls that replaced its hydraulic shifting system. This electronic control came with Vehicle Speed Sensor that alerted the engine’s computer of the speed at which the car is moving and when it was time to switch gears. These shifts in gears were then made possible by transmitting a signal to a shift solenoid.


The Bottom Line

The 700R4 is one of the best automatic transmissions that was launched by General Motors. It was renamed to the 4L60, and the latter also became a popular transmission name. Today, more enhanced transmissions have been launched, and they can still find their roots to the 700R4.

The 700R4’s need to offer fuel economy and enhanced performance were its major selling points, and its ability to be electronically controlled as is the case of the 4l60E made it a force to reckon with. Nonetheless, there are still transmission problems you need to be wary of to ensure your transmission stands the test of time.